Saturday, November 15, 2008

An almost no-knead Bread!

Or, 'Best and Easiest Home-baked Bread' by Nick Malgieri in How to Bake. This is the most successful bread recipe I have made so far, which we enjoyed in the form of some yummy sandwiches last week. Doesn't it look good?! It was crusty, dense and really good! You know, it was better than some of the bread I have bought around here, if I do say so myself (tootoot!)

This bread involved a starter, a sponge, and then the making of the dough. Now, I don't really understand the difference between a starter and a sponge (I thought they were sort of the same thing) but you put one in the other, and then make the dough. This recipe requires some planning since there's lots of waiting, but very little labor overall. No tired arms!

In a nutshell, here's the basic recipe. If you want the full details, then I encourage you to buy the book or at least borrow it from the library. To make the starter, you mix warm water, 1/4 tsp yeast and 1 cup flour. Let all that sit overnight. Then you take a cup of that, put it in a new bowl with 3/4 cup water, 1/2 tsp yeast, and 2 cups of flour to form the sponge. Let it sit overnight again. Finally, you put all the sponge in your mixer along with 2 tsp salt and 1 1/2 cups of flour and set the dough hook on for 5 minutes. Let it rise once, deflate, shape it into a round loaf, place on a pan sprinkled with cornmeal, and allow a second rise. Slash the top. Bake for 45 minutes at 450 F. That's all there is to it!